The Music And Books That Inspired Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur, product visionary, electronics enthusiast, Zen student, acid tripper, crazy dieter, college dropout, and devoted family man.

But more than anything else, he was an artist. And like every artist, he drew much of his inspiration from other artists.

Here are some of his favourites, with what Jobs said and thought about them, as reported by Walter Issacson in his biography of Jobs.

Bob Dylan was his favourite musician by far. Jobs collected live bootlegs on reel-to-reel tape when he was a teenager and had 15 Dylan albums on his iPod.

This is Jobs talking to Mick Jagger at the October 2003 launch of iTunes for Windows.

Jobs read 'Zen Mind, Beginners' Mind' in college and it kicked off a lifelong fascination with Zen Buddhism. Later, Jobs became a follower of the author Shunryu Suzuki when he lived nearby in California.

'The Innovator's Dilemma' by Clayton Christensen describes how companies can fall into the trap of refusing to risk their current business to focus on the future. It was deeply influential.

'The Whole Earth catalogue' was a periodical about how technology could be a friend to the counter-culture. Jobs reminisced about it during his famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, and closed with the tagline from the back cover of the final issue: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

While he was in high school, Jobs took to literature. He loved Herman Melville's Moby Dick…

…Shakespeare's King Lear…

…and the poems of Dylan Thomas.

Now, check out some of the inspiration he gave to others...

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